at the end of my rope... need encouragement
Hey guys, I'm pretty new to this forum but it seem like you have good community here. I've been on this worship team for almost 4 months and it is very draining. With the previous worship team I was in I felt as if I was around peers on a spirtual level. Our expectations and commitment were very similar. We had bout the same maturity and musical tastes.
To lighten the load a youth team was quickly formed but they lacked music experience. I switched over to help them arrange their songs, run through practices and have been playing with them ever since. I am not the worship leader nor do I care to be but there are many decisions and the conduct of some of the members are really disheartening. The contrast in attitudes and motivations is like black and white. Arriving late, rushing though songs, settling with just enough, being preoccupied with what they could do vocally more than how they can lead the church in worship, fancy vocal intros and outtro that the congregation doesn't sing. I do talk with the worship leader and I know her heart is in the right place but she is too yeilding to the other members. Keeping people happy by a process of voting rather than her leading outright. This leads to some bad compromises since the majority of them are young and haven't matured spirtually.
This has lead to me to a lot of frustration and I no longer enjoy my role with them. I use to derive so much joy from being in a praise team but this has really dampened my spirits. I was out of town a few weeks ago during sunday and when I came back I found that without me the praise team was so bad that the pastor had to cut it short cause it was such a distraction. Sloppy and unorganized were the practices and it reflected on sunday. Scenerios like this worry me cause I still have a burden to help them and to develope people in the church. I pray for continuing patience but the direction this team is going is sooo painful. Thank you for reading such a long post.
Any thoughts, suggestions, words of encouragements would be a great help.
Maybe God is calling you to become a leader, maybe not the leader, but a leader.
What I see more and more in church life is that when someone is dissatisfied with what is happening in the ministry they serve in, when they feel a sense of "dis-ease" within the group, perhaps that person needs to bring a wake-up call, a new refreshing look at how the ministry should be done.
I would also talk to the main leader and share your frustrations. Ask if he/she could lay down some expectations for the worship team - both practical and spiritual expectations.
And of course, pray.
Sally your post sounds like something I would have said. Don't we come to church to worship God? Isn't the music supposed to be about worshipping Him, not showing everybody how awesomely talented we think we are? People at church drive me crazy. Have they ever taken one minute to think about what church is supposed to be about and what their part is?
Park is right - you need to step up and carry the standard. But I'm afraid that in your zeal to serve God as you know how, your emotions may be getting in the way of you functioning in the way God intends. This happens to me all the time - I get frustrated with everybody and fail to see that the reason they aren't acting right is because they are as messed up as I am. They carry emotional pain, are insecure, are immature, and need somebody to teach, encourage and understand them.
So try to be a friend, but keep trying to focus your practices back to worhiping God. "What is the congregation supposed to be doing during your vocal acrobatics or guitar solo?" "How can we do this song in a way that helps the congregation focus on God?" "Can we set the example for the congregation in this song by pouring our hearts out to God?" "Why don't we stop singing/playing in this song and let the congregation lead the worship for a minute?"
Thud and Park are right (so why am i posting, eh?)...
You need to be an example to them, and lead them. But you can also outright teach them (I get the impression from your posts that they do look up to you). Gather the team together every now and then, and especially when you see something going wrong, and teach them what you know. Explain how you see things, explain how God intends things to be done, explain spiritual maturity and the role of the worship leader, explain the role of the rest of the worship team as leaders in worship, etc. Give them your views straight out, by sitting down with them and telling them.
No need to be harsh about it or anything. As long as you do it in love, in a non-condemning, non-confrontational way, they should begin to see it the way you do. Not that you should adopt the attitude that you're always in the right, and that everyone needs to see things the way you do. But this is something more general, and when it comes to leading worship, it seems like you know what you're talking about.
So teach them. That would be my added advice.
Have you thought about mixing the two teams up? Split them somewhat equally between adults and kids. Essentially, you then have all the adults involved in teaching them, rather than just you. Might be easier for you.
I won't repeat what has already been said, and it's all good stuff, but I will say this as an experienced youth leader and leader of the youth worship team:
Young people do not respond the same way adults do. I played on the adult worship team before I became a youth leader and it's really not been until this year that I have started to realize this simple truth. When I stopped expecting them to act like adults and started getting to know them as youth, and recall what it was like when I was 14,15,16,17, etc. things changed. We started to grow much more spiritually as a group, the music got better, and we're like a small family within a family now. The things you described as being problematic started disappearing and I can't attribute that to anything except God working in that situation. Not knowing all the details of your situation, I don't know where exactly this might or might not fit into your situation, but it's what I have to offer, hope it might help
my answer is usually the same here, and it comes out of much personal experience in this area and what i have observed in others.
youth worship teams should not lead worhsip on a weekly basis. largely because part of what dave said, they are still 14-17 or so. for the most part they are not musically mature enough to get the stuff ready with the amount of time they can or will commit to it. not to mention in many cases, the team is also a place of spiritual growth and much learning. i'm all for having them, letting them practice, teaching them guiding them. but setting up some kind of system were they get to lead once a month or so.
Originally Posted by Awzmgd117 my answer is usually the same here, and it comes out of much personal experience in this area and what i have observed in others.
youth worship teams should not lead worhsip on a weekly basis. largely because part of what dave said, they are still 14-17 or so. for the most part they are not musically mature enough to get the stuff ready with the amount of time they can or will commit to it. not to mention in many cases, the team is also a place of spiritual growth and much learning. i'm all for having them, letting them practice, teaching them guiding them. but setting up some kind of system were they get to lead once a month or so. This is true sometimes, but not always. It's not good to generalize like that. I'm 17 years old and lead a youth worship band. We lead 3-4 times a month, at least. This past week we did two services; a youth service, and a youth emphasis service where the youth band leads worship in the regular church service. I'm not generalizing to this extreme either, but just to note that you can't generalize on the spiritual maturity of a group of young people just because they're young people. Being a Pastor's kid, I've been in a few different youth groups, and I've seen some pretty mature groups of youth who were far more spiritually (and otherwise) mature than their adult congregations.
But in the particular case we're talking about here, it doesn't sound like this is the case. It sounds like Awzmgd117's generalization works here.
Lots of good advice here. One thing I might add is the need to disciple the young people. IMHO, all of the music issues you describe are symptoms of a deeper issue, namely, lack of spiritual discipline.
The idea that we need to become like youth in order to reach them seems backwards. Young people have lots of questions, but rarely do they have many answers. Worship team is a great opportunity for anyone, regardless of their age, but along with that opportunity comes responsibility. Scriptures repeatedly stress stewardship and responsibility.
Were I in your shoes, I would have a sit down with the Youth worship leader and clearly express your concerns, and the biblical reasons for your concerns, (so it is not just your opinion). I would offer to help in any way I could, but I would also set a time (4 to 6 weeks) for a follow up meeting. I would also be clear that if some of the spiritual issues were not rectified, I would ask for a sit down meeting with either the Adult Worship Leader, or the Senior Pastor, which ever person is the appropriate authority.
I suggest that you try to establish a one-on-one discipleship program where a member of the Adult Worship Team mentors a member of the Youth Team. I would talk to the Adult Worship Leader and hope to get buy-in. I think such a program would be good for both the Adults and young people. If you can get adult support, then any youth who refuses to be in the mentoring program is off the team. It is extremely important that the Youth WT Leader be discipled and mentored by the Adult WT Leader. From your description, sounds like she is in over her head, and not at all ready for leadership. The inmates are running the asylum. You may not be the right person to lead, as was suggested, but you sure sound like the right person to be the catalyst for much needed change and improvement. BTW, you may very well be the right person to lead, and the young WT Leader might be greatly relieved to be released from the task of Youth WT Leader.
One thing I think deserves mentioning is that you shouldn't make any assumptions on how seriously they take their roles on the worship team. You should first sit down with each of them and discuss how seriously they are taking it (some might be considering a future career in worship music ministry, others might just be doing it as a side thing, so they can do their part. Both can be very genuine.). If they aren't taking it very seriously, and it's just a side thing for them, then you might not want to do the mentorship program, although you might not need to kick them off the team either.
Your reaction should depend on how seriously they're taking it personally.
Although you should note that there's a difference between taking their roles seriously, and being serious about leading worship. No matter how seriously they're taking it, they still need to realize how serious worship is.
Let me use our band as an example. We all take our roles on the platform as being serious. Worship is serious business, and we realize that. However, I take it more seriously because I plan on making at least a partial career out of it. Another member of my team is planning on doing computer graphic design, so he doesn't take it as seriously as I do. But we both still realize the seriousness of our roles.
I hope this makes a grain of sense.
Originally Posted by agrimes87 This is true sometimes, but not always. It's not good to generalize like that. I'm 17 years old and lead a youth worship band. We lead 3-4 times a month, at least. This past week we did two services; a youth service, and a youth emphasis service where the youth band leads worship in the regular church service. I'm not generalizing to this extreme either, but just to note that you can't generalize on the spiritual maturity of a group of young people just because they're young people. Being a Pastor's kid, I've been in a few different youth groups, and I've seen some pretty mature groups of youth who were far more spiritually (and otherwise) mature than their adult congregations.
But in the particular case we're talking about here, it doesn't sound like this is the case. It sounds like Awzmgd117's generalization works here.
ok but i thought the "IMO" could be read into my post fairly easily, and like you said the generalization seems to apply here, i dont' hold this as a hard fast rule, just a handy thought that works more often than not. and it comes about less because of the youths spiritual maturity and has more to do with there time constraints and musical ability. again generalizing but i do so because most of the time its true. people in htis age group don't have the time it takes to commit to prepare, there busy wiht other things, thats a good thing. and many times there new to there instrument or newer, so it takes more time. even if htere not new to it, there new to playing as a group. if these things don't apply to you thats fine consider yourself exempt. i'm not passing judging just making a gerneral obseravation
theres nothing wrong with that
Originally Posted by Awzmgd117 ok but i thought the "IMO" could be read into my post fairly easily I didn't read that
i dont' hold this as a hard fast rule, just a handy thought that works more often than not. you're right here. sadly, more often than not, youth aren't spiritually mature enough to be able to handle a leadership position, even in a youth group. However, this is because they aren't as spiritually mature as they should be. They should be mature enough, IMO.
and it comes about less because of the youths spiritual maturity and has more to do with there time constraints and musical ability. again generalizing but i do so because most of the time its true. people in htis age group don't have the time it takes to commit to prepare, there busy wiht other things, thats a good thing. and many times there new to there instrument or newer, so it takes more time. even if htere not new to it, there new to playing as a group. most of the time, this is true. we have homework, and some of us have social lives. however, this isn't because we don't have the time. it's because we misuse the time we have. I don't mean this in a snobbish way, but everyone has 24 hours in a day, 7 days in a week. Young people, generally (yeah, i'm generalizing now. lol), aren't mature enough to organize this according to their priorities. But like I said, they should be more mature than this, and many are. The problem isn't that they don't have enough time...it's that they're not mature enough to take advantage of the time they have. The youth leader with the problems described in this thread should, I think, be working to instill good standards and priorities in the youth, so that they can realize the importance of what they're doing, and can mature enough to take advantage of their time.
Young people don't really have so much to do that they don't have time to prepare for a service, practice, have devotional times, etc. It's that they place video games on a higher level of importance than these things. This is the problem. It's not that they're youth, and so they don't have time...it's that they're youth, and so they waste their time. I know this because I'm a youth.
I honestly hope I'm not coming off in a confrontational manner. I do not intend it that way, I simply disagree that young people don't have enough time to handle leadership positions. No offense intended
if these things don't apply to you thats fine consider yourself exempt. i have a long, long way to go myself...
i'm not passing judging just making a gerneral obseravation theres nothing wrong with that I'm not arguing this. You have the full right to make a general observation. And you were right in saying that most youth aren't mature enough to handle leadership positions. However, I did get the impression from you that you can't expect much more, when in fact I believe that we should expect much more from young people who think they have the right to be in leadership positions just 'cause they can play a guitar and sing, but then spend hours playing video games while they spend 10-15 minutes total preparing to lead a service. I have a problem with this, and I have a problem with leaders who settle for it. I am not implying that you are one of those leaders. I don't really know exactly what you believe regarding this issue (except that youth don't seem to have enough time and aren't mature enough). I just got the impression from your post.
If I'm wrong in taking this impression (and I very well could be), please tell me. I will apologize for any wrong assumptions I have made, and for any offense you may have taken. I honestly do not mean any offense or confrontation.
we should hold them to a higher standard, i agree, and your right its that most young people waste alot of time, i'm not judging them for that, its just how it is, and they'll never have a chance at this much free time again, they should enjoy it.
so i'm not saying you can't expect them to be able ot do it, i'm just opposed ot starting or keeping a youth praise team, unless some youth have first demonstrated some real interest adn maturity and commitment. having one cause it seems fun, or the youth want to get to play or they don't like the current leader, is not a good reason to have one
Which comes back to how seriously they're taking it.
You should definitely check that out man.
Ok so Sallyjr, let me get this straight. In terms of performance, the members of the band dictate what they want to do and do it, and the worship leader concedes or puts it to a vote to avoid hurting feelings? If so, this is bad news and the worship leader in specific needs to address it. You are meant to lead and mentor, but in a different way.
The worship leader is meant to mentor and guide in a corporate setting... by example, and by dictating what does and does not take place in a worship setting. Your job is to lovingly teach and mentor in a one-on-one setting with worship team members.
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